We initiated this particular blog feature for the sole purpose of providing real-life examples of out-of-this-world creativity for those who struggle to find such illustrations on their own. I had no idea when we started that it would be so easy to find so many examples every day in every field of endeavor. The situations we’ve shared are far from futuristic predictions that may materialize some day in the world of TomorrowLand. They’re happening now and they’re happening here, there and everywhere.
To review the previous 20 examples we’ve shared … simply click on Out-of-the-Box Thinking in the column on the right titled Categories. If you have personal examples you’d like to share with us, please send them to us.
While today’s example is rather humorous, it might be a bit frightening for some. What’s really astounding is the fact that it’s taking place right now as you read this piece.
Visualize yourself lying in a hospital bed recuperating from yesterday’s surgery in Hackensack University Medical Center. A nurse drops in to tell you that your doctor will be in to see you in just a few minutes. That’s always good news because everyone wants an update on their progress. As promised, the door opens and in rolls your doctor. Yes, I said rolls. Before you can fully appreciate the message your eyes are sending to your brain, you hear your doctor’s voice greeting you from an image displayed on a flat-screen computer monitor mounted on top of the robot … yes, a robot standing at the foot of your bed. Your doctor’s face is looking you right in the eye from the computer screen connected to the Internet via broadband and a wireless network as his familiar and reassuring voice greets you warmly.
However, as you look closer you can’t help but notice that your doctor’s face is mounted on a 5 feet, 4 inch remote-controlled adult-sized robot on wheels weighing 215 lbs. On top of the computer monitor is a two-way video and 24-infrared sensors to navigate its travels. The screen rotates 340 degrees and pivots up and down creating personalized mechanical affectations. He views the patient and surroundings through a video camera located above the monitor, allowing live interactive communication. The robot’s body is covered by a physician’s smock complete with the traditional stethoscope. The more you look at it, the more it actually resembles your doctor … and verbally interacting with him, I mean it, seals the deal.
Your doctor is now able to dial up, connect, and see his patients whenever needed. Driving the robot into the room is more personal than a phone call from the doctor’s office. Dr. Rounder, as the robot is affectionately known by everyone in the hospital, also provides access to electronic patient files. The doctor can view vital signs, CT scans, blood tests and much of the technical data needed for patient care. Of course, when Dr. Rounder is visiting other patients, you continue to be monitored by the medical center’s Magnet award-winning nursing staff.
Sounds a bit far-fetched, wouldn’t you agree? This sophisticated mechanical physician is part of an initiative to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Physician-to-patient communication is now possible regardless of whether a physician is out of town or out of the country for that matter.
This unique robot is remarkably personal, providing virtual communication, and patients seem to be very comfortable with him, er, it. In essence, the Hackensack University Medical Center is providing extra coverage patients might not ordinarily get. As you watch Dr. Rounder humming through the halls, you get a sense he’s become a familiar face around the medical center as staff passing by quickly greet the doctor currently on the screen as though he’s really there—physically that is!
What’s next? Only the limits of your imagination, creativity and innovation can make that determination!